Catfish Bait Home
the Heck is Cormorant Catfishing?
All good white bass fisherman know that where the gulls (birds) are active on the lake the white bass can be found just underneath. What most catfishermen don't know is that the same theory applies to another bird -- the Cormorant.
Cormorants are voracious shad eaters and they roost in large flocks in submerged timber. Think of what falls into the water under one of these roosts!
So the theory and practice of Cormorant Catfishing is simple......
Locate the Cormorant roosts, quietly slip your boat in amongst the trees under the roosts and fish.
Habitat and Finding the Fishing Spot
A few are even present year-round at some inland lakes and reservoirs in central and north-central Texas. But the absolute best months of the year on Texas lakes are during the wintering season November through April.
The real key to capitalizing on the Cormorant catfishing is to locate the roosts. Typically these roosts will be found in flooded trees over water in flatland lakes. Since large roosting groups gather mainly near or after dark and humans typically fish during the day, you may have to locate the roosting site by the appearance of the trees -- trees over water COVERED in white bird droppings!
Benny Roberts (the king of Cormorant Catfishing) wasn't willing to give exact locations for this article, but he was willing to provide enough information to get you in one of the areas. Lake Ray Roberts (Du Bois Creek about 1 mile south of the 922 bridge, middle of the lake, 10' to 20' feet of water). Benny's all time favorite for this type of fishing is Lake Arrowhead in Henrietta, Texas (sorry, but Benny pretty much keeps the exact location to himself).
to Fish the Area
Use a catfish rig as in figure 1. It uses a slipping 3/4 to 1oz egg sinker that allows the catfish to take the bait with no resistance -- this is important!
Here is the secret of using this bait:
1) You will use "tight-line" fishing. Cast the rig above out a ways and reel until you have a tight line.
2) You must use a rod with a very limber tip so the line stays tight even if the waves or boat moves a bit!
3) If you see "any" nibble movement on your rod tip, SET THE HOOK HARD. Some of the biggest fish you catch show only a tiny bite.
Everybody has their favorite catfish bait but I'll share with you what is reported to out catch all other baits under these conditions. Part of the closely held secret of the fishing bait is a fish killer ingredient from Lake Texoma Striper Guide and Monster Catfish Guide who's name we dare not share.
Catfish Punch Bait", by Benny Roberts.
If you are not familiar with punch baits, this is what they are and why they are called punch baits. They come in tubs of various sizes, are nasty, stinky and thick. They are made of cheese, blood and some secret ingredients that I care not to know about. They are called punch baits because they are so foul that you don't ever want the stuff on your hands and the makers recommend using treble hooks so you can take a stick and punch the hook down into the bait and pull the hook out by the line to load it.
The reasoning for using this punch bait is simple -- Benny Roberts has designed SureShot so that the wad of bait on the treble hook looks and smells just like something coming from the back end of a roosting Cormorant!
you want to try SureShot don't bother shopping at WalMart -- you had
better order it from Benny directly because there are darn few (I know
of one) bait shops that carry it.